The rises, which are predicted to be in the region of 10 to 35 percent come on top of price hikes introduced at the end of March which were in the range of 5 to 7 percent. Those earlier price hikes were also blamed on rising transportation and material costs. Oil hits $136 per barrel At the time the price of oil per barrel was hovering around the $104 mark, but today it is now at $136 per barrel as oil companies keep production low in anticipation of oil prices rising even higher in the future. "The hyperinflation of oil and natural gas has led to dramatically higher raw material, and energy costs as well as additional freighter costs," said Myron Petruch, president of the company's Performance Pigments division. Petruch also pointed to the fact that there have been dramatic price rises for color pigment raw materials sourced in China and other parts of Asia, highlighting the fact that costs are rising faster than at any other time in the past 30 years. Looking to cost reductions Although the company said that it could see no immediate relief for the current market conditions, it did say that it would continue to implement cost reduction programs and initiatives in an effort to counterbalance the rising cost of raw materials. The company is a major supplier of organic and inorganic pigments which are mainly supplied to the color cosmetics category. The rising costs of materials and transportation has forced many of the industry's major players to make similar price hikes in the past few months. Competition implements similar hikes Only this month BASF announced that its North American affiliate would be raising the price of all of its cosmetic polymers by 30 percent, where contracts allow. The announcement followed a similar one by BASF's major competitor Dow Chemical, which increased prices across its divisions on June 1. The company implemented price increases of up to 20 percent in the latest round of hikes to mitigate for the relentless price rises in energy, feedstock and transportation. The company did not reveal the extent of the price increases it was imposing in personal care, revealing only that exposure to inflationary pressure would be the determining factor. Other major suppliers to the cosmetics industry, including Cognis and Croda, have implemented significant price increases recently.